VW, Hyundai Turn to Driverless-Car Startup in Silicon Valley

In the race to develop driverless cars, Volkswagen AG and Hyundai Motor Co. are placing bets on a Silicon Valley startup founded a year ago by the former leaders of autonomous vehicles at Google and Tesla.
Aurora Innovation Inc. on Thursday announced separate partnerships with the two auto makers, signaling the emergence of a potential rival to Waymo, the Google self-driving experiment that has morphed into a business unit of corporate parent Alphabet Inc…
The company is run by Chief Executive Chris Urmson, a roboticist from Carnegie Mellon University, who helped found Google’s self-driving car program in 2009 and led it after Sebastian Thrun left in 2014.
Mr. Urmson was among a wave of self-driving car engineers who left following the arrival of former Hyundai executive John Krafcik, who was hired by Alphabet in 2015 to run the project and turn it into a business. About a year ago, Mr. Urmson teamed up with Sterling Anderson and Drew Bagnell to found Aurora, which also has offices in Pittsburgh.